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SpaceX launches Starship Rocket into Orbit, But Loses Spacecraft on Return

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SpaceX launches Starship Rocket into Orbit, But Loses Spacecraft on Return

(CTN News) – SpaceX’s next-generation mega rocket took off Thursday morning, blasting into orbit on an important test flight to demonstrate new technologies and procedures that would be critical on future moon missions and beyond.

The mission, which occurred on the 22nd anniversary of SpaceX’s inception, was the rocket’s third and most ambitious such test, according to the firm. The event was widely followed as the roughly 400-foot-tall launcher, known as Starship, is slated to play a vital role in NASA’s return-to-moon programme.

The rocket took up at 9:25 a.m. ET from SpaceX’s Starbase test facility in Boca Chica, Texas. SpaceX surpassed earlier Starship testing by successfully reaching orbit and returning to Earth’s atmosphere almost 40 minutes later.

“This is the furthest and fastest that Starship has ever flown,” SpaceX officials announced during the event’s live broadcast.

However, evidence suggests that the spacecraft was lost while returning to Earth, before making the splashdown in the Indian Ocean that SpaceX intended for.

Nonetheless, the firm declared it a “phenomenal day.”

Despite the fact that SpaceX changed the scheduled liftoff time on Thursday morning, the Starship launch went off without a hitch. About three minutes into flight, the first-stage booster, known as Super Heavy, successfully separated from the upper-stage Starship spaceship.

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However, Super Heavy failed to complete a last burn as it returned to Earth, forcing it to splash down “hard” in the Gulf of Mexico, SpaceX stated during its livestream.

During the trip, SpaceX wanted to show a variety of operations and capabilities, such as opening and closing the vehicle’s payload door and moving propellant between two of Starship’s tanks in orbit. The business stated that it will need to analyse post-flight data to determine whether those objectives were met.

SpaceX also planned to fire one of Starship’s Raptor engines while in space, but decided to forego that aspect.

Many of the approaches tried during Starship’s third flight would be useful for SpaceX’s future satellite deployment missions, as well as setting the way for NASA’s Artemis moon missions.

The business also stated that several of the objectives would contribute in the development of Starship into a fully reusable platform. That is SpaceX’s ultimate goal, but it was not the purpose of this test mission.

NASA has selected a starship to transport passengers to the lunar surface for the future Artemis III mission, which might launch in 2026.

The rocket detonated shortly after liftoff during the Starship’s inaugural flight last April. The second Starship launch in November achieved benchmarks, including the separation of the first-stage booster and upper-stage spaceship. However, the business lost touch with the vehicle shortly after.

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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